Jessica Le Briquer MATI ’17 is, in her own words, already “living the dream” after completing an “amazing” assignment as an interpreter at the historic Paris Climate Talks. Le Briquer has always wanted to be an interpreter and says she honestly cannot remember ever considering another profession.
At the high-profile Paris event, she worked for two different agencies and added some additional work for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. “I really enjoyed working for the United Nations Development Programme, as that allowed me to participate in events at different venues,” she says. The most stressful—and rewarding—experience she had at the Paris Talks was interpreting at the Equator Prize in the “incredibly beautiful” Mogador Theater. Among the speakers she interpreted for were actors Ed Norton, Colin Firth, and Alec Baldwin, as well as the renowned activist and anthropologist Jane Goodall, who was a last minute addition to the roster. “We had prepared for a different speaker and had to interpret her speech totally blind,” Le Briquer says, adding that this is the “beauty” of working as an interpreter. “I love it. We have to be flexible and nimble and that makes for such an interesting career.”
Originally from Normandy, Le Briquer earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees in English at the famed Sorbonne University in Paris before coming to the Middlebury Institute last fall. After a successful summer volunteering as an interpreter for the United Nations and at the World Social Forum in Tunisia, she found that booth mates were recommending her for jobs and she decided to take a hiatus from her studies to see where the momentum would take her. “I would not be here if not for the great training I’ve had at the Institute,” she says and notes that having the Middlebury Institute on her resume has opened so many doors.